Guide for Parents / Carers for Learners with Upcoming GCSE Exams
Exams can be a stressful time for both parents and learners, but with the right support and guidance, your learner can succeed and achieve their goals.
So here is a short bullet point guide to help you and your young person as they countdown to the exam:
Provide a supportive environment
Create a calm and supportive environment for your child to study in. Make sure they have a quiet place to study without any distractions, and that they have access to all the resources they need.
Encourage regular breaks
It’s important for your young person to take regular breaks during study sessions to prevent burnout; even a short walk of about 20-30 minutes – is proven to help your brain along with breathing techniques to support with mindfulness will help you be your best. Encourage them to take short breaks every hour or so to stretch, take a walk, or have a healthy snack. Treats are neat – doing your best is not all down to constant revision. Ensure they plan some activities with friends, go out for coffee and enjoy a night at the cinema to get their minds off revision and the exam and give their brain a break.
Help them with revision
Offer to help your young person with their revision by testing them on key concepts and helping them create a revision schedule. However, be careful not to put too much pressure on them or take over their revision entirely.
Promote healthy habits
Encourage your young person to eat healthy, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. It is important to have a good amount of sleep in the run up to exams. Revising late in the day won’t help with this at all as your young person will just go to bed anxious. Revision should not be part of your bedtime routine! Brain foods like fruit and fish really aid memory function. Lots of sugary drinks give you unnatural highs so you need to be ensuring your young person is eating and drinking the right things to help with their revision, sleep and energy levels! These habits can help them perform better on their exams and manage stress more effectively.
Remind your young person that you are proud of them no matter what happens on their exams. Encourage them to do their best and remind them that their worth is not determined by their exam results. Also, support them to try and avoid negative vibes and moaning with friends about ‘who’s more stressed’ as it won’t help and will only make them anxious. Help them to try and keep positive and think about all the positive things that can happen when they have completed the exam after all the hard work!
The day before, advise them not to attempt to revise. Encourage them to relax and do something they enjoy, because if they don’t know the information for the exam now, they never really will. Your young person needs to enjoy a fun activity with friends, eat well, drink well and get some sleep before the big day.